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Thu 9 Jun 2016 11:11 AM

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UAE approves national tolerance strategy

Council to be appointed at later date to develop policies to promote tolerance regionally, nationally and globally

UAE approves national tolerance strategy
Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance. (Getty Images)

The UAE cabinet has approved a national programme for tolerance, the first major initiative from the tolerance minister appointed as part of a government reshuffle earlier in 2016.

Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, the new Minister of State for Tolerance, said the programme was based on Islam, the UAE Constitution, UAE founder Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, legacy and the country’s ethics, international conventions, archaeology and history, humanity and common values.

The National Tolerance Programme involves collaborating with federal and local entities under five main themes, according to state news agency WAM.

These are strengthening the government’s role as an ‘incubator’ of tolerance, consolidating the family’s role in nation building, promoting tolerance among youth and steering them away from extremism, enriching scientific and cultural content and integrating international efforts to promote tolerance.

A Council of Tolerance is to be appointed under the programme, with the aim of developing policies to promote tolerance locally, regionally and internationally.

The programme also establishes a UAE Tolerance Centre, aimed at creating and disseminating scientific and cultural content on tolerance in daily life.

Meanwhile, public and private sector organisations are to be encouraged to support tolerance through a Tolerance Responsibility Programme for Organisations, which the WAM reported was one of the first of its kind in the world.

A UAE Charter of Tolerance, Coexistence and Peace would also be set up, promoting respect of cultural diversity and rejecting violence, extremism and racism.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said: “Tolerance is a key value of our ancestors and our Founding Fathers. The UAE has succeeded in spreading it throughout the Arab region and the world.”

He added that the holy month of Ramadan is “a great opportunity to spread the spirit of tolerance and show the real image of moderation, and respect for others.

“Tolerance is the basis for building societies, and promoting values of peaceful coexistence. Today, we need to be more tolerant and united to face the changes happening around us.”